Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry, Biology and Marine Sciences, Faculty of Science Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Marine Science
Ph. D.(University of Tsukuba)
As a sessile organisms who cannot escape from dangers in habitat, the functions of integumentary tissues should be very important to survive in hazardous environment. Morphological and functional diversity of the tunic (and tunic cells) is one of my main subject to be explored. The major component of tunic is cellulose: tunicates (ascidians and the other urochordates) are the only metazoan group that can synthesize cellulose. Thus, cellulosic integument, such as tunic, is a synapomorph of tunicates (= urochordates).
Algal symbiosis is another research subject in these years, since some colonial ascidians harbor cyanophytes. Tunic and tunic cells are often involved in the process of transmission of the algal symbions from the mother colony to their progeny. I also study some other photosymbiotic metazoans inhabiting coral reefs.